Anyone who is anyone knows that BuzzFeed.com is one of the most trendy websites to emerge within the last ten years. Whether it’s covering news, providing quizzes, teaching life lessons, or putting our feelings into words, BuzzFeed seems to have anything and everything a person could ever ask for. I mean, I definitely needed to know which celebrity stoner should be my best friend and that moms are sending hilarious texts about “Snowmageddon 2015”. (Eye rolls into another dimension.)
More importantly, a few weeks ago, one aspect of BuzzFeed caught my eye, in particular. (When I returned from that dimension.) It just so happens that BuzzFeed has a YouTube channel with over 4 million subscribers. As a YouTube addict, I proceeded to watch a few videos that caught my eye, and I ended up subscribing. However, this was easily one of the biggest mistakes that I have made in my college experience, thus far.
Not only does this channel update three to five times a day, which ruins the balance of my subscription feed and makes me a very unhappy camper, but the quality of the videos are either problematic, gross, or irrelevant. In fact, I am looking at the list of videos, as I am writing this, and here are just a few titles from the last month:
- 8 Gross Things You Love Doing
- Which Grocery Store Has The Best Rotisserie Chicken?
- 10 Boner Facts That Are Too Hard To Handle
- Girls Try To Pee Standing Up For The First Time
- 7 Gross Things That You Do That Are Really Satisfying
- People Use A Bidet For The First Time
And the list goes on and on and on. All of that aside, one video, above all, made me think, “Wow. Really?” This video is called “Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History”. Going into this video, I thought it was going to be snap worthy and have feminist undertones, which I thoroughly appreciate, but it was almost the exact opposite.
The video features many facts about “ideal body types” from Ancient Egypt to Postmodern Beauty, though the credibility of these facts is a little vague. Each model poses and moves, while descriptions of their bodies appear next to them, all to the catchy tune of SNBRN’s “Raindrops feat. Kerli”. Each model is then accompanied by a vague silhouette of someone or something that represents “the beauty of that time”.
Now, I can handle, only barely, Marilyn Monroe being a representation of beauty during the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930s-1950s), but I think I was more offended by the person representing beauty in today’s society. BuzzFeed decided to give that title to the person that tried to “break the Internet” earlier this year, Kim Kardashian.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe Kim is a beautiful woman, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians is my absolute guilty pleasure. However, why does Kim get the crown of beauty in today’s society? Is it because she is talked about a lot? Why not Tess Holiday, a plus-sized model, who just landed a modeling contract with United Kingdom-based Milk Model Management? Why not Khloe Kardashian? Why Kim? Why? Why? Why?
If that wasn’t enough, the picture of Kim Kardashian that BuzzFeed featured was the clearly Photoshopped picture of her bare behind. (That photo was a little gross, to be honest.) BuzzFeed could have picked any other photo of Kim. She has the most followers on Instagram, with over 25 million followers, and over 2000 photos to pick from. Not to mention paparazzi clings to her like a magnet and photos of her are taken anytime she goes in public. And if that’s not enough, a Google image search of her name offers hundreds of thousands of photos of the reality television star. So, why the photoshopped one?
Yes, there is mention of the pressures on women to fall into the plastic surgery trend, but I believe that BuzzFeed could have handled this a little different. As it is now, the video should be retitled “Society’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History”. Using “Women’s” in the title implies that this is what the female gender strives for, nowadays, when in fact, this is simply societal pressure on the female psyche.
The video would have been more effective if, at the end, it had simply put all the models in one shot and celebrated beauty in all body types. The video would have served a greater purpose if it simply had women in stereotypical clothing of each time period, of all shapes and sizes, spreading words of body positivity and self-love. Perhaps, this shot would have been too hard for the staff to pull off. I mean, they can’t even grasp the idea that white text does not look good on a white background and makes it very hard to read at several moments in the video.
More importantly though, I would like to clarify that, to me, there is something beautiful about everyone and everything. This is not limited to Kim Kardashian, and this is not something that needs Photoshop to be achieved. Women do not need to change to fit the expectations of society or men, for that matter. Their bodies, their choice. It’s a simple lesson that my mom taught me, when I was very young.
I don’t believe that BuzzFeed intentionally implied all of these things. From what I can tell from the linked article that the video is based on, they simply used Kim Kardashian, because it would attract attention. Hence, the “More News About Kim Kardashian” link at the bottom of the article. It’s simply a tactic to gain more traffic and attract an audience. However, in my eyes, the video is simply weak, much like many of the other videos on the YouTube channel.
I think that it’s up to us to change the “standard of beauty”. Currently, we are a society built around this “strive for perfection” attitude that, honestly, is a waste of time. People are already perfect. It’s those imperfections that surround each person that makes a person perfect. It makes people interesting and unique. So, Buzzfeed, the next time that you make a video about women’s ideal body types, try actually asking some women. Somehow, I think that they would disagree with your representation of Postmodern Beauty.
So, good luck with your YouTube channel, and I hope that your video quality improves in the future. Politely, I am unsubscribing. (Sorry not sorry.)